Friday, July 19, 2024

Meet the inaugural Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Award winners and finalists

Queer|Art, New York City’s home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, is pleased to announce the winners of two of its biggest annual awards.

Poet, performer, and visual artist Pamela Sneed is the inaugural winner for the Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Award for Artists and Organizers. Photographer Lola Flash is the winner of the 2021 QueerArt|Prize for Sustained Achievement.

For the inaugural Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Award for Artists and Organizers, artist and multi-year Queer|Art Mentor Pamela Sneed is recognized “not only for her brilliance and accomplishments in the field of literary arts but also for her longstanding commitment to nurturing younger Black queer voices,” states Bauman, Maynard, and Jones:

“As a jury and as members of a richly Black artistic community, we have been and continue to be deeply moved by Pamela Sneed’s gift for moving all of us forward. In recognition of the fact that mentorship itself is as beautiful, gorgeous, and vital as any other artistic discipline,  we are pleased to award Sneed the inaugural Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Award as a recognition of not only her brilliance and accomplishments in the field of literary arts but also for her longstanding commitment to nurturing younger Black queer voices, both through Queer|Art|Mentorship and outside of QAM.” 

Four additional artists—Anaïs Duplan, Heesoo Kwon, Le’Andra LeSeur, and Moises Salazar—have also been named as the finalists of the 2021 Queer|Art|Prize for Recent Work. Each winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize. All three awards are made possible with support from HBO.

Sneed, Flash, and the four Recent Work Prize finalists will be honored in a public ceremony—The 2021 Queer|Art Annual Party, Queer|Art’s biggest event of the year—on December 14th, 7pm streaming Live from The Whitney Museum of American Art.

Hosted this year by poet/performer Candystore and activist/drag artist Junior Mintt, The Annual Party will also occasion the reveal of the winner for the 2021 Queer|Art|Prize in the category of Recent Work, as well as the graduation of the 2020-2021 Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellows. The celebratory program will conclude with a raucous post-ceremony cabaret organized by the hosts with special guest performers (to be announced soon).

The Black QAM Award and the Prize both honor Queer|Art’s mission to support LGBTQ+ artists across generations and creative disciplines. Says Queer|Art Executive Director, Travis Chamberlain: “This year we are proud to introduce the Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Award for Artists and Organizers alongside the Queer|Art|Prize, now in its fifth year. Together, these awards represent a natural outgrowth of Queer|Art’s work and values by honoring LGBTQ+ artists both within our immediate community and within the wider community of queer artists that exists throughout the U.S. I am particularly moved that this year’s winners for both awards are individuals who also happen to be beloved mentors here at Queer|Art, both of whom—Pamela Sneed and Lola Flash—have made a significant impact on our community, helping to shape the values that hold us together and that continue to guide us forward.

“The tremendous scope of their contributions to queer culture, queer wellbeing, and uplifting Black queer community and excellence cannot be overstated and resounds ever-more loudly with each passing year. These awards, and the ceremony that accompanies them, confirm the incredible trailblazing impact of their lives and work on a national level, and we are honored to be able to recognize them both and celebrate their continuing achievements at this year’s Annual Party.”


The Black Queer|Art|Mentorship Award for Artists and Organizers is a new annual award that acknowledges Black Mentors and Fellows from the Queer|Art|Mentorship (QAM) community who uplift critical histories of Black queer mentorship and exemplify steadfast commitment to values shared by the QAM community. Developed by Queer|Art’s Black LGBTQ+ Artists Group (BlaQ), the award highlights artists who uphold guiding principles and practices like intergenerational exchange, collective care, creative resilience, preservation of Black queer legacies, and an engagement with grassroots organizing within their creative practice and beyond. This year, judges included celebrated writers, artists, and performers, Maria Bauman, Felicita (Felli) Maynard, and Saeed Jones. The award is accompanied by a $10,000 cash prize, and the winner will be honored during the Queer|Art Annual Party, in conjunction with the Queer|Art Prize ceremony.  More info about Queer | Art here.

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